Bank of America is trying to carve out a slice of the $171 billion global payments market with a new technology that would allow you to pay at a store by scanning a QR code on your smartphone, Reuters reports.
The technology, provided by payments startup Paydiant, is currently in pilot mode among employees at the bank’s Charlotte, North Carolina, headquarters. Among other places, BofA is testing the new system at a restaurant, where QR codes are printed on receipts so customers can pay and leave at their leisure, Paydiant cofounder Chris Gardner tells Reuters.
It’s a highly appealing concept that could apply to hotels, bars, or anywhere else that currently requires you to interact with service providers, such as waitstaff, to complete a simple transaction. Secure QR-based mobile payments could also help reduce the amount of credit card skimming that accounts for $1 billion lost annually, which is a possible reason a mobile system would appeal to an unlikely innovator in Big Banking such as BofA.
This isn’t the first time BofA has done a mobile payments pilot run: In 2010, the bank partnered with Visa to test smartphones equipped with radio chips that users could wave near a store’s point-of-sale device.